David Iasevoli

AXINGfor Gary Snyder
October—scents whisper hemlock,apple orchards, gasoline, and bones of fire.A foetor cleaves to the forest,rot of leaves and needles, ice to follow.
I hone the axe head found beneatha woodpile, heartwood unearthed: rust pocked holesin the metal—meteoric—it takes to stone closely, like nails to steel.
A kind of affirmation now:skies converse with the beeches, the crows laugh,axe bites through branch and into stump.Kindling shatters, bliss bubbles out of wood.
My dog grabs a hank of maple.Perhaps axe, crow, dog, the burst of cuts, stumps,all wonder at the life left behind from August,and tell us to breathe this in, and just you wait.

BO TREE
How long did you sit?The reportshave been mixed,unreliable.
When we arrived, wethought you were dead,or at least too happyto remain on this sad earthfor long.
A cobra’s molt laybeside your cruciform ankles: external bone, mirrorfor your hide. Yousmiled at our concern.
Let’s eat,we thought we heard you say,and that dhal bhat nevertasted so good.

D. Iasevoli, former student of Robert Thurman and Natasha Tretheway, lives in the Adirondacks.